How Can We Experience the Joys of the Kingdom?

In verse 27 of Revelation 21, John tells us that,

“…nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Re 21:27)

And again in verses 14 and 15 of Revelation 22, John tells us that only

“…those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Re 22:14–15)

Clearly, not everyone is allowed to enter and experience the joys of the kingdom. What is that dividing line? What determines whether a person is in or out of the kingdom? In other words,

How can we experience the joys of the kingdom to come?

In verse 27, John mentions the Lamb’s book of life. He tells us that our names have to be written in it if we are going to enter. As well as he tells us that no one who is unclean will be able to enter.

How do we become clean?

In order to be clean, we have to have had our robes washed. It is not clear from this verse how or in what way our robes must be washed, but back in chapter 7 in verse 14, John tells us that those who have already entered into Jesus’ presence have washed their robes in the blood of Christ.

How can we wash in the blood of Christ?

The blood of Jesus isn’t a product we can run down to Walmart and purchase. How, then, can we have our robes washed in Jesus’ blood? The only way we can wash our robes in the blood of Jesus is to believe the gospel.

The gospel

The gospel is shorthand for good news. In biblical terms, the good news is that Jesus has taken our punishment for us. You see, we are sinners who have sinned against God. In other words, we live in rebellion. We want to do our own thing. As those who have rebelled against God, we deserve to be punished by Him.

But God sent Jesus, who not only lived a perfect life but also died the death we deserve. He took our punishment on Himself when He hung on the cross at Calvary.

All those who would admit that they live in rebellion to God and deserve His punishment for doing so, as well as all those who believe that Jesus suffered and died in our place, in order to make a way for our relationship with the Father to be repaired, all those who would repent and believe those things will be covered or washed in the blood of Christ.

When the Father looks down on us, He doesn’t see an unclean people but a people who have been made holy through Jesus’ blood. As a result, we are able to enter and enjoy the blessings of the kingdom to come.

No other way

Apart from repenting and believing in Jesus, there is no other way to enter the kingdom and enjoy the blessings that come with it.

Open to all

The good news in all of this is that the ability to be washed in Jesus’ blood is open to all. Look at verse 17 of chapter 22,

“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” (Re 22:17)

We all can come. Coming costs nothing. We don’t, nay we can’t, pay for the water of life. It’s freely given to those who repent and believe.

So if you haven’t yet repented and believed, heed Jesus’ words and come. If you are thirsty and desire life eternal, come. If you want to experience the joys of the kingdom, come. Come to Jesus!

If you have turned to Jesus, and if you do believe in Him, then praise God because you have a perfect world, ruled by a perfect King, with unhindered access to God to which to look forward.

Question for Reflection

  1. Will you be a part of the kingdom to come?


Post developed from my sermon The End of God’s Restoration Project

How Do You Know You Value the Kingdom? | Part 3


Maybe you have called yourself a Christian for a long time, but how do you know you value the kingdom?

The Parable of the Householder

The Parable of the Householder not only tells us what Jesus’ disciples should do, but what those who value the kingdom will do.

And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” (Matthew 13:52, ESV)

Jesus not only compares His disciples to the Scribes – the learned teachers of the day – but also to a household master. He pictures the master bringing out and showing off his old and new treasure.

The old treasure represents the familiar teachings of the day, while the new treasure represents the teachings Jesus revealed to the disciples.

What’s Jesus point?

Jesus’ point is that His disciples are to teach the people how the old and new truths He revealed integrate together. Jesus’ message doesn’t wipe the slate clean. It doesn’t replace the old. It fulfills it, and it is the disciples job to show how that’s the case.

Why Spread Jesus’ Message?

Problems will arise, if Jesus’ disciples carry Jesus’ message to the people. People will reject and hate them. Life will not be easy. Knowing that, why spread Jesus’ message?

The value of the Kingdom should cause Jesus’ disciples to spread His message.

You see, those who value the kingdom will tell others about it. They will talk about it, no matter the cost.

That’s because we talk about those things we value.

How do you know if you value the kingdom?

(1) Is Jesus apart of your conversations with others?

Do you talk about Him with you friends, family, neighbors, and even strangers?

We talk about those things we value. You can know if you value the things of God, you can know if you value the kingdom, you can know if you value Jesus, if you talk about Him.

How else can we know if we value the kingdom or the things of God?

(2) Do you read God’s Word?

If you value the things of God, you will want to learn more about Him. The way to do that is to read His Word.

(3) Do you pray?

If you think God is valuable, you will set aside time in your day to talk with Him.

(4) Do you seek to live according to God’s Word?

If you think His wisdom and commands are valuable, you will want to live by them.

(5) Do you give your money, time, and resources to kingdom work?

Those things we value, we invest in. Do you invest in the kingdom by giving your money, time, and resources to it?

(6) Do you put Jesus first in your life?

The things we value get first priority in our lives. So is Jesus first in your life, or is He 2nd or 3rd, or even at the bottom of your list? We give first priority to those things we value. So is Jesus first in your life?

Questions for Reflection

  1. Do the questions above reveal you value the Kingdom or not? Why or why not?
  2. What other questions would you add to the list of six above?


Post adapted from my most recent sermon Why Should You Want to Follow Jesus?